Throughout December we have been undertaking a very serious investigation. It’s taken a lot of effort but we feel it was necessary to look into the current state of mince pies in the UK at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.
We tasted 10 different brands of pie and scored them on nine criteria;
- Pie Access
- Mince-meat to volume ratio
- Xmas Factor
For consistency we ate all of our pies cold (as we only have a microwave and no one likes sweaty pastry) as well as eating them unaccompanied so not to confuse our tastebuds.
And the results are in
So it’s Duchy Originals that takes the crown of Best Mince Pie overall for 2009. Not surprising as they were also the most expensive, but don’t let that take away from their glory – they are truly delicious, with an authentic pastry case and a perfectly balanced mince-meat filling. The packaging had heritage and was made from good thick card. Coming in almost a clear 10 points behind were Tesco, Konditor & Cook and Sainsbury’s – all accomplished pies.
Note: Ms. Kruger’s homemade mince pies aren’t available to the general public as they were lovingly crafted by Maggie who resides at our office. They wold have scored better if they hadn’t been presented in some Tupperware.
The best versus the worst
No one really expected a lot from the Co-Operative’s pies and they certainly didn’t surprise with one of the panel comparing the filling to paint.
Some might say this is the true gauge of pie. We took the expectation score and subtracted the reality score to give us an idea of whether it was a pleasant surprise, as expected or a hideous disappointment.
So it was Greggs’ and Ms. Kruger’s pies that offered up the most pleasant surprise surpassing all expectations (not to say that the expectations were low to start with of course). Mr. Kipling gave the most dissappointment – after all, he claims to make “exceedingly good cakes”. He must have not been around for the QC on these ones. Asda, Tesco and Co-Op supplied pies that were exactly as expected.
We were going to calculate total calories consumed over the course of the audit, but though it may be better to leave this statistic a mystery – although you may be able to take a guess from the increase in the collective waist size across the business.
Have you eaten a better mince pie? Have we got it completely wrong? Let us know.